I’m confused by the recent letter from Jack Havens on the limited benefits to salmon if we restored the Deschutes estuary. When Havens was president of the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group, he authorized spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to restore a small estuary at the Beachcrest Neighborhood. Beachcrest and the Deschutes estuary are very similar.
Just like on the Deschutes, the small stream in the Beachcrest neighborhood had been dammed at its mouth, creating a small pond. Historically, the creek’s mouth had served as a pocket estuary, providing habitat to juvenile salmon from dozens of other streams as they made their way out to the ocean.
Havens oversaw the restoration of Beachcrest because (as his organization at the time pointed out) “estuary restoration and improvement is an excellent opportunity to increase survival of salmon in Puget Sound.” For Beachcrest, Havens said estuary restoration is good for salmon. For the Deschutes, Havens reverses course.
Havens’ organization also pointed out that, also like Capitol Lake, some in Beachcrest were skeptical of restoration. But, in this case of Beachcrest, SPSSEG, “took time, patience, ability to gently provide information and answer questions, and lots of enthusiasm.”
We should restore the Deschtues. Salmon from all over Puget Sound would benefit from opening up the estuary here, just like they would on the much smaller estuary in Beachcrest.